There were/are tears: When Damien Williams scored to take the lead, when Frank Clark sealed another playoff game with a sack, when my wife started crying as Damien Williams scored another touchdown and really sealed the game. When my dad called me and opened with “How ’bout them Chiefs,” after witnessing the Chiefs win the Super Bowl for the first time in his life. When I thought of my family who have been waiting a long time for this moment.
In my rookie season as a sports writer, the team I grew up in love with and inspired me into sports media/writing has won the Super Bowl. The team that took some of the biggest Ls imaginable: Hill’s offseason drama, Jones’ holdout, losing three straight home games, Mahomes’ knee injury, a game where equipment did not show up until an hour before kickoff, Thronhill’s knee injury, going down 24 points in the divisional round, going down 10 in the championship round, going down 10 in the Super Bowl. Despite everything that came between KC and the Lombardi trophy, the Kansas City Chiefs have hoisted the trophy for the second time in franchise history.
Despite the final score falling short of the under/over, this game was a non stop thrill ride, with fans from both sides experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. I am not saying the NFL is rigged, but this is exactly the game the NFL needed for the Super Bowl this year.
Super Bowls are won as a team, and this game was no different.
Patrick Mahomes had maybe the poorest performance of his career, throwing two interceptions and struggling to get anything going offensively… except for when he did get things going with 286 yards and 3 TDs (2 through the air, 1 on the ground). The Legion of Zoom stepped up in a big way to help Mahomes overcome his shortcomings in the big game. Sammy Watkins made a serious case for getting a contract extension with 98 yards receiving, including a 38 yard reception on third down to put the Chiefs on the 10 yard line and in position to take the lead. Tyreek Hill exposed Richard Sherman multiple times throughout the night, racking up 105 yards receiving, including a 44 yard reception to shift the momentum and open up the comeback.
The unsung hero of this game however is Damien Williams, who ran for 104 yards and 1 TD, along with 29 yards receiving and 1 TD through the air. Damien William was absolutely vital to the Chiefs offense, coming up clutch both with and without the ball in his hands.
The 49ers almost stole this game, being up 20-10 with about 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Despite scoring the opening touchdown and Bashaud Breeland grabbing an early interception off of Jimmy G, the Chiefs struggled to get past the 49ers defense. Grabbing 4 sacks, knocking away 8 passes, and grabbing 2 of them, the Niners defense seemed to have the download on the Chiefs offense, even being able to completely eliminate the big plays in the first half.
The 49ers found success offensively as well, capitalizing on the Chiefs weak linebacker group. Jimmy G may have finally shed the talk of him being unable to throw the ball, going 20/31 for 219 and 1 TD and keeping many drives alive when faced with third down. His two interceptions stand out as his only mistakes, but one interception was a great play made by Kendall Fuller in garbage time and the other was a bad pass as result of two hard hits in the pocket and actively being driven to the ground.
The true stars of the show for the Niners were Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert, who managed to find the holes in the defense on almost every play it felt like. Raheem Mostert went off for 58 yards rushing and 1 TD, while Samuel found 53 yards rushing and 39 yards receiving.
Despite everything going in the 49ers favor for most of the second half, the Chiefs managed to put together 21 points in less then 7 minutes of game, putting together what Terez Paylor often refers to as an “Over my dead body game.” From Mahomes calm yet explosive game play, to Damien Williams inability to quit, to Kendall Fuller playing at a whole different level on the last two Niners drives, the Chiefs really played for Coach Reid.
Tonight, I find myself thankful. Thankful for the Chiefs Super Bowl victory, thankful for Patrick Mahomes and Coach Reid, thankful for Tyrann Mathieu (who got snubbed for DPOY) and Frank Clark, thankful for the Hunt family and Brett Veach. But mostly I find myself thankful for the Chiefs Kingdom, the fanbase that accepted in a young, inexperienced writer with an attitude, the fanbase that my family, including my mom who is/was a Raiders’ fan (and wore a Chiefs’ jersey to church), have been apart of for years. The fanbase that for the first time in 50 years are Super Bowl Champions.
Here is to the Chiefs Kingdom, and here is to our new overlord, Patrick Lavon Mahomes II. Welcome to the Mahomes-era, may it last forever.